Blog about the worst business decision and mistake you’ve ever made.
We’ve all made dumb business decisions. Taken jobs we hated, told off a co-worker when we shouldn’t, overslept too much, worked too many hours with little return, and…we’ve all been there, done that.
By sharing your worst business decision and mistake, you show the world how you’ve grown, learning from the mistakes you made. Sure, you earn a few scars, but it is the scars that define who we are today, as well as are the symbols of where we’ve been.
I’ve made my share of business mistakes, and do. Business is part of the lessons of life. One of the worst came on the seventh anniversary of my company at the time, many years ago. Things were going great, but I wanted to make a change. I decided to shake things up and do a total restructure. I wanted more adventurous clients, willing to move into this new technological world that was forming, and embrace the social the Internet was creating with the introduction of email and online user groups to the average person. The web hadn’t started, but the Internet was on the way in that direction. In the process of restructuring, I took on a client I knew couldn’t be trusted. With this popular and newsworthy client, the launch of my new advertising company would only benefit by such association, right?
Wrong. I threw massive time, money, and energy into their company, promoting them from a community business to national, working towards international coverage through the Internet and traditional marketing and advertising media. By the end of the first year, my accountant quietly told me that we’d put so much energy into that single client, we’d reduced our client base to only a few rather than grow. The others didn’t want that association I was counting on. What was worse, the client hadn’t paid in seven months. Promises to pay were lost in the energy of the media frenzy, glamor, and paparazzi.
A week later, the client disappeared. Phones disconnected. Accounts closed. Vanished. Creditors turned to me as if, by association, I was responsible for their unpaid bills. We tried to track them down, eventually bringing in the police, but it was three years before they reappeared only to be out of reach.
In those three years, I totally changed my entire business, and my way of thinking about business that has led me to my business style today. Trust is there, but it is now cynical, waiting for the proof and payment before investing my time and energy. I understand clearly that talk is cheap. Action speaks loudly. Listen. The truth is always spoken if you are paying attention. Pay attention.
I also don’t waste time, especially my client’s time. Having been on the other side, I see the bigger picture. The direct style so many of my clients and readers appreciate comes from that time when I wasted so much time with cheap talk and little follow-through action. Direct. To the point. Listen. Learn. Decide. Get it done. Next?
I also learned that risks can have terrible outcomes, but also terrific rewards. After working long hours with little sleep, and damaging my health, to pay off all the debt, I closed down the corporate part of my life. I went freelance, jumping off another cliff into a whole new world. In the end, the loss was to my benefit as my clients know that I have the business experiences, and losses, and am wiser for the lessons learned. They win because I lost so much in that single year long experience.
We all make mistakes in everything we do. That’s part of learning. I want you to blog about your business decision gone worst, not just wrong, and the lessons you learned and how these mistakes changed your life.
These blogging challenges are published weekly and are an attempt to kick your blogging ass. They serve to challenge your thinking and efforts in blogging and blog writing. To participate, start challenging yourself now. Today. Go for it.
Past Blogging Challenges
- Blog Challenge: Blog Your Passion
- Blog Challenge: What is the Most Unusual Blogger You’ve Found?
- Blog Challenge: Blog Your Dash
- Blog Challenge: How Do You Judge a Blog Post as a Success?
- Blog Challenge: What’s Your Blog’s Story?